A doctor and an elderly patient are indoors at the woman's home. The doctor is talking to the woman while holding a tablet computer.

The Academy has highlighted the need for a greater focus on research to be included in the Department of Health’s draft ten-year plan for primary health care. Boosting the capacity for research to be conducted in the primary care setting aligns with the goals of the Academy’s major policy project, Harnessing research for better health, which seeks to improve the integration of research within the health system.

The Department of Health invited submissions on the draft plan, which articulates a path forward for primary health care via three broad streams: future focused primary health care; person-centered primary health care, supported by funding reform; and integrated care, locally delivered. Within the third stream, the Academy welcomed the inclusion of short, medium and future actions to conduct research and evaluation to scale up what works.

However, to fully realise the benefits that research can bring to primary care, the Academy emphasised that it should be positioned as an essential foundation block for implementation of quality care. Boosting research in the primary care sector should be underpinned by further engagement with universities and research institutions, providing multi-disciplinary expertise and infrastructure to support a range of research activities. To overcome current resourcing barriers, the Academy also noted the positive role that two proposed research centres could play.

Read the full submission: AAHMS Primary care consultation 2021